European Equities Rally Buoyed by Commodities Stocks As Traders Await Key Federal Reserve Meeting

European equities closed the day higher on Tuesday helped by commodities and energy stocks as traders await the highly-anticipated policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday, at which time the central bank could announce an interest rate increase for the first time in nine years.

In other macro-economic news, the U.K.'s consumer price index rose by 0.1% in the first 11 months of 2015, compared with a 0.1% fall in the year to October 2015, according to the Office of National Statistics. Higher transport costs, alcohol and tobacco prices were the main contributors to the rise, which was partially offset by cheaper clothing prices.

The price of goods bought and sold by UK manufacturers, as estimated by the producer price index, continued to fall in the year to November 2015 with cheaper crude oil driving down input prices, feeding through to a drop in output prices of petroleum products.

And, UK house prices increased by 7.0% in the year to October 2015, up from 6.1% in the year to September 2015. Average house prices in October 2015 reached GBP 300,000 ($454,624) in England, GBP 174,000 in Wales and GBP 196,000 in Scotland.

In Spain, the consumer price index rose by 0.4% in November compared to October while annual CPI fell 0.3%, according to Spain's national statistics institute.

And, across the euro area, the rate of employment increased by 0.3% to 151.5 million people in Q3 compared to Q2, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This was a slightly slower pace of growth than that recorded in Q2, when employment increased by 0.4%.

In company news, financial stocks, supermarket chains and oil and gas companies were among the biggest gainers on London's FTSE 100 Index with South African insurance company Old Mutual advancing by 5.3% and wealth management adviser St James' Place rising by 4.6%.

Supermarkets Sainbury, Morrison and Tesco were 5.2%, 4.9% and 4.4% higher, respectively, and oil and gas majors BG Group ended 4.0% and Royal Dutch Shell's A and B shares both closed 3.2% higher.

On the DAX, airline Deutsche Lufthansa led gainers, surging 5.1%, followed by telecommunications major Deutsche Telekom, up 5.0%, and postal service company Deutsche Post up 4.7%. Semiconductor developer Infineon Technologies rose by 3.7%.

Daimler, a car-maker, gained 3.5%, and athletic apparel company adidas jumped rose 3.4%.

And, on the CAC-40, steelmaker ArceorMittal was the biggest gainer, surging 5.6%. Health care company Sanofi gained 5.3%, automotive supplier Valeo was 4.4% higher, and luxury goods retailer LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton rose by 4.0%.

BNP Paribas, a financial services provider, rose by 4.3% and carmaker Peugeot ended 3.3% higher.

The FTSE 100 gained 2.45%, the DAX rose 3.07% and the CAC-40 was 3.16% higher.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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